18 Aug 2022

West Wicklow Festival brings exciting line-up of classical music stars to Russborough

‘Winter Weekend’

West Wicklow Festival brings exciting line-up of classical music stars to Russborough

Fiachra Garvey. Picture: Frances Marshall

Superstar Latvian duo Kristīne and Margarita Balanas, mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, violinist Mairéad Hickey and pianists Gary Beecher and Fiachra Garvey will perform over a single weekend at Russborough House.   

The West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival has launched its inaugural ‘Winter Weekend’, a mini-festival running from Friday November 12 to Sunday 14.

Founded six years ago by Wicklow pianist Fiachra Garvey, the West Wicklow Festival’s flagship summer programme has quickly built a stellar reputation for its inviting mix of world-class performances and creative family events.

The Festival’s new ‘Winter Weekend’ promises to condense the wonderful music and warm Wicklow hospitality that audiences have come to expect from the summer Festival, into a single November weekend at Russborough House.

The West Wicklow Festival ‘Winter Weekend’ begins on Friday 12 November 8pm, with a collaboration between celebrated Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey and Wicklow-born Fiachra Garvey, a multi award-winning pianist and the Festival’s Artistic Director.

Together they will present four extraordinary masterpieces for violin and piano, taking their audience from the noble intensity of Brahms’ First Violin Sonata to the contrasting darkness and light in Debussy’s swansong Sonata. Their programme also includes “a quarter million miles from the moon” by Irish composer Deirdre McKay and the irresistible drama of Richard Strauss’ Violin Sonata.

On Saturday 13 November 8pm, Latvian sisters Kristine and Margarita Balanas, a tour de force violin and cello duo, will give their debut Irish performance. Two of the most exciting and versatile artists of their generation, they are known for their distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence and have dazzled audiences all over the world in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Royal Festival Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Philharmonie, Berlin. Their concert will feature music by JS Bach, Ravel, Handel, Vivaldi, fellow Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks and a newly arranged commission by Irish composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell called A Russborough Diversion.

Leading Irish mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty and pianist Gary Beecher bring the West Wicklow Festival ‘Winter Weekend’ to a close on Sunday 14 November 3pm. The duo will present a programme of pure beauty featuring songs by Schubert, Debussy, Grieg as well as some well-known and loved Irish and English songs – the perfect way to round off the Festival and a Sunday afternoon at Russborough!

West Wicklow Festival Founder and Artistic Director Fiachra Garvey commented: “I’m delighted to announce the West Wicklow Festival‘s inaugural ‘Winter Weekend’, taking place from the 12th-14th November 2021 at our beloved musical home, Russborough. The Festival team and I are so excited to finally welcome everyone back to live performances. With that in mind, rather than waiting until our next flagship festival in May 2022, we’re thrilled to present an additional musical treat for our audiences this November with 3 fabulous concerts. We invite you to come and support live music again in the most glorious and inspiring of settings.”

For further information about the West Wicklow Festival and to book tickets, please visit


The West Wicklow Festival is funded by the Arts Council and supported by Wicklow Arts Office.


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